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Exclusively, from a source within Singapore Airlines involved in the launch of the new product, we can confirm (unofficially) the following regarding the new Singapore Airlines A380 layout:

  • The Suites will be moved to the upper deck. This is in line with the discovery made in an earlier post;
  • The count of Suites will decrease from the current 12 to 6;
  • The Suites will be much, much bigger;
  • The entire lower deck will be dedicated to Economy and Premium Economy;
  • There will be no shower facilities like those found on Emirates and Etihad (this has been officially confirmed by Singapore Airlines);
  • Crucially (and, perhaps, the final piece of the puzzle), there will be no bar or bar-like area.

Whilst slightly disappointing on a couple of counts (mainly, the reduction in Suite count will make point redemptions difficult, and an on-board bar is a welcomed amenity for premium passengers), it is hardly surprising: Singapore has a reputation for investing primarily in its core product offering, rather than the augmented product. Put another way, they rely on the quality of its seats, service and catering to compete rather than bolt-ons (think along the lines of charter vehicles etc.). Given its size and nature as a more boutique-like airline, this seems reasonable. Whether or not this will lead to an exodus away from Singapore Airlines to its more cash-rich competitors in the Gulf remains to be seen.

On the whole, the only airlines dedicating significant on-board real estate to a bar area are those who have somewhat less transparent cost and profit pressures. The same goes for on-board shower facilities (and there are growing instances of Emirates being selective on which flights the showers are available and stocked for). It is not entirely clear if the presence of these amenities is a swing factor for the regular and frequent business travellers who constitute the lion’s share of Singapore’s premium customer base.

As I’ve said previously, Singapore Airlines is remarkably secretive regarding their product launches and nothing is confirmed until that first new airframe arrives in Changi airport. However, we can be very confident Singapore has no intention of having a staffed bar on-board its factory fresh A380s come October 2017.

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Posted by Tom

Tom is a consultant and founder of FlightMaestro.net, the online travel tool that rates, ranks and dissects every facet of in-flight passenger experience. All views expressed are his own.

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